Foriegn Affairs

Exister, c'est oser se jeter dans le monde.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Spooky Stories

Madeline’s story was very spooky- I really feel like she could make this into a movie or book! She left me at such a big cliff hanger! I really want to know what happened to the girl and what her parents’ advice would be to her about her stalker/ ghost problem. She created a great story using imagery and experiences we’ve all had in our lives or thought about sometime.
Sam’s story was AMAZING! When I first saw this prompt, I imagined something very different for the story line. I loved how she was able to keep me guessing and wondering what was going to happen next. She also used a lot of themes that somehow fit together perfectly.
Tanner’s story was very haunting. As I said in the comments on his story, I loved how he was able to make the ghost have human characteristics! I also enjoyed some of the themes, such as presumed guilty before any evidence is found.

My Halloween plans don’t have much similarities to the scary stories, but I will be dressing up to pass out candy and go to a party! This weekend might also include watching a scary movie, eating popcorn and candy, and roasting s’mores. Hopefully I won’t have any supernatural stories to tell after the break!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Fractured (literally) Harris Burdick Story

The cobble-stoned street was littered with last night’s celebrations. Streamers, party favors, and broken glass still had yet to be cleaned up. Meanwhile, Jean was sitting at a table, just finishing her order of a spinach and cheese omelet and decaf coffee, no foam. She looked upward, her cat eye Gucci sunglasses sliding off the bridge of her nose and pushing towards her forehead. The eggshell blue of the Venetian sky was dotted with the black outline of seagulls from the bay. This sight reminded her of one of her favorite songs, This Is the Life, by one of her favorite bands, Two Door Cinema Club. Being on vacation from school (a normal custom in Europe to go on a three week vacation every couple of months) was a gift from above. Jean knew that even with her workaholic parents and their crumbling marriage and her almost nonexistent social life, nothing could change the fact that this was starting out as one of the best days she had in a long while. She trusted that everything would work itself out.

                However, as soon as she came to this conclusion, she heard screams and sounds of buildings crashing. Jean thought that there was no construction that day, and was pulled out of her philosophical trance by curiosity. She closed her book and saw a huge ocean liner coming toward the quaint bistro she was sitting at. She could tell that even with her mighty engines in reverse, the ocean liner was pulled further and further into the canal. Knowing that she didn’t have much time to get away, she quickly gathered all of her things into her purse and started to run. Jean tripped on a shaking cobblestone and tried to get up, realizing that her new jeans had ripped and a long, bloody gash was appearing on her knee. People flooded the streets, fleeing from the destruction. They created a hole around her, enough room that she could get up and continue to her mint green Vespa. She grabbed the shiny black helmet and sped away, knowing that the trouble had only just started. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Old Stories turned Reality

Growing up with cats and dogs, I got used to the sounds of scratching at my door while I slept. Now that I live alone, it’s much more unsettling.
                When I was little and had to go anywhere in my house by myself, I would rush up the stairs, complete the task, and race back downstairs to avoid ghosts or other things that go bump in the night. In the momentary gap of no light when you flick the lights off, my worst fears would be brought to the forefront of my imagination. My cat would make it worse when he would rub my legs or attack my ankles while I was escaping the dark.
                This memory popped into my head as I heard these sounds around 12:30. I sighed, knowing that my sleep was ruined and that I would have to be back at work in six hours. I slowly unwrapped myself from my comforter and turned on the light, trying to comfort myself about the scratching noises that kept repeating over and over again. I knew that the house was old- I had bought it for its historic charm and legends surrounding the house. Popular stories of ghosts of animals tested by a witch swirled about the town, and once or twice I caught some of the locals giving me a peculiar stare and then whispering to a neighbor.
                I stepped out of bed to brew myself some coffee. I stuffed my feet into my house slippers and put on my terry cloth bathrobe, a gift from my mother for my birthday last year. I crossed the room and twisted the handle- but realized it was stuck. Another oddity hit me-the scratching noises had stopped. Trying not to freak out, I calmly thought of a reasonable explanation for the turn of events. This house is old, old things rust and get stuck, the scratching sounds were probably the water heater (I needed to call first thing after I got my coffee)…
I went to my master bathroom, trying to think of what I had available to me to unlock the door. Since the door could only be locked from the outside, I had no key in the room. Realizing that someone (or something) had to have locked me in, I started to panic even more. Logical solutions were thrown out of my mind as I sank to the tiled floor, crying and all alone.
In the midst of my meltdown, I was startled when I heard the same scratching noises not at the door, but at the bathroom window. I looked up and saw a huge cat with a Cheshire smile and huge, black eyes. Behind him I could tell that there were more animals, but none that I wanted to meet. As I crawled away from the window, I caught a glint of a knife, illuminated by the harvest moon.

I got on my feet and ran to the door, pounding and screaming, hoping that someone would hear me. Instead, all I got was the noise of several ghoulish animals, results of spells gone awry.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Pumpkin Carving and Halloween

Halloween Traditions
Carving pumpkins is a very serious tradition in my household. I don’t remember when it got started or why we started carving, but it stuck. It’s usually me who brings it up, and coerces people to drop their schedules and commitments and to celebrate the season by carving pumpkins. It is also like the season opener to fall and the other holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas which my family loves to celebrate as well, not to mention my mom’s birthday and mine sandwiched in between those events.  To other people who don’t carve pumpkins, they might see me as annoying, but I see myself as the preserver of a Halloween and fall tradition started many years ago.
  Over the years, we have acquired three heavy duty pumpkin carving kits, four stencil books, and lots of memories. Carving pumpkins is not just a cliché thing to do around Halloween, it is the staple of our celebration of the holiday. We set a time that we can all carve pumpkins and usually block out several hours. My mom always tries to find a new pumpkin seed recipe that she can try out with all the seeds from the pumpkins we carve. Since my dad usually joins us right after he gets home from work, the kids have to gather the newspaper, set up the table, print out the stencil, and get all the tools ready for when he gets home. It’s a pretty strenuous process, but it yields great results.
Pretty soon, the only people that are left carving are my sister, me, and my dad. My brothers have usually lost interest but will suddenly come back downstairs right as we are finishing up to “help”. Kind of like the Little Red Hen, we do all the heavy lifting on their pumpkins so they can bask in the finish of their creation that they didn’t have a hand in. Meanwhile, pumpkin and spices waft through the air from the oven, where my mom has been laboring to finish the pumpkin seeds.

Honestly, this is my favorite tradition. I love how my family always seems to find a break in their schedules to enjoy this holiday and to take a step back from the crazy world. I also like all the stories and pictures that are shared of past Halloweens. Even though sticky pumpkin guts get coated on your hands and make a huge mess, I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s all worth it when you get to set your finished creation outside, with a candle lit inside it that inspires awe in all trick-or-treaters who pass by. I wouldn’t trade my family tradition of carving pumpkins for anything- it might just be the best night of the year.

By the way, if you're looking for cool pumpkin carving ideas or just browsing, click here, here (I loved the kittens one), and here (anyone got an old shirt?).

Friday, October 23, 2015

Keeping it Reel

#10: How involved do you think family should be in your relationships? Your involvement in theirs?

                In my family, we have a very interesting dynamic.  I won’t reveal any confidential information, but I do have to say that having your brother showing interest in one of your best friends is kind of on the strange side. It does come in handy when the other sibling can set you up with one of their friends or vice versa- and if all else fails, they have your back during a relationship. I would fight for any of my siblings if they were wronged in a relationship and would make sure that they were comforted if they were sad or depressed about it.

                I can relate to Dan’s family on a personal level when they are trying to set him up. I can remember trying to set my brother up on a homecoming date or when he tries to subtly remind me of his single friends that happen to be free on the weekend. I think that we are interested in setting up our family members because we know how good and refreshing it is to feel loved and we want them to feel the same positive feelings that we do.
                Another experience is when my sister and I were texting the same guy, kind of seriously, without even knowing. One day, we found out, and as you can assume, contact with that teenage boy was cut off. There’s almost an unspeakable code between multiples about what you can and can’t do in relationships. There’s only two options in  relationships- what’s right and what’s wrong.
                My mother finds that it is very helpful that we are all pretty close because we all seem to know what’s going on in their love life or other relationships. Mostly, my mom comes to me because I guess you could say that I’m a gossip, which could possibly be true. She will grill me for all the latest details and she almost turns into a teenage girl again when I tell her who’s dating who and what’s going on in the relationship department. My dad on the other hand, doesn’t really care. All he says as a joke is that when I go to prom he’ll show all of my “embarrassing” baby pictures.
                In relation to talking about the future earlier this week, sometimes my siblings like to talk about what the future holds college wise, careers, and marriage. We always bet to see who’ll get married first and how they’ll run their future household, what kind of spouse that they will end up marrying. I think that I can safely say that I might be pickier than my mom on their choice of mate!

                All in all, I think that family gets involved in relationships because it make them feel good and personal with the other person.  “Notice the people who are happy for your happiness, and sad for your sadness. They're the ones who deserve special places in your heart.”

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

"Reely" good quotes

These quotes come from my favorite movies of all time:
1. The Help
2.  The Pursuit of Happyness
3.  The Imitation Game
4. Age of Adaline

On the Reel

My favorite movie of all time would have to be The Help. I won't go into much detail because I reference this movie in almost all the things I write about, both book and movie version. I really don't care for horror or super scary movies because they freak me out- I have a bit of an overactive imagination! I also don't like movies were there is a ton of violence, I just don't think that it's really necessary.
I usually watch movies on the weekend because I have time to watch the whole thing in one sitting. If I'm by myself, I usually fold laundry or do some chores that don't require lots of concentration. If I'm with my family, I love wrapping myself in a blanket and stretching out on our leather couch. I always have to have a snack, and it's usually chips or something I can munch on.
If my life was turned into a movie, it would definitely be a comedy, probably surrounding the adventures I have with my siblings. I like to think that I'm very funny, and my dad and I could definitely come up with some good jokes that would have viewers using them in their daily lives. The celebrity that would play me would be Lily Collins. I love her hair, look, and everything about her.

The survey told me:
You are moderate in activity and enthusiasm. You enjoy the company of others but you also value your privacy.
You are generally warm, trusting, and agreeable, but you can sometimes be stubborn and competitive.

You are conscientious and well organised. You have high standards and always strive to achieve goals.

You are generally calm and able to deal with stress, but you sometimes experience feelings of guilt, anger and sadness.
You are practical but willing to consider new ways of doing things. You try to seek a balance between the old and the new.
It also said that I should watch "When Harry met Sally" and "Meet the Parents"

Future Plans?

Mr. Odom was awesome! It really surprised me about how many writers clubs there are in Springfield! I was also curious about the critique groups- they seem like a great way to get your name out in the community as a new author. I still have a question about how to get involved in those clubs! Who do we even contact? Is it like a cult?

In a year, I would like to see myself getting prepared for college and just enjoying stuff in my last year of high school. In five years, I would love to be graduating college and starting a job as a teacher or continuing my education to the masters level. I would also like to have traveled to Europe in a foreign exchange program by then. In 50 years, I honestly have no clue. I guess you could say I will go wherever the wind takes me.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Driving in the Country

I turn off of the highway lined with brush and trees to fill up my 1939 Packard 120 in desperate need of gas. I hear the crunch of the gravel under my black tires as I go around the white-washed building to the pumps. The man to pump the gas stands attentively and quietly, the gas pumps his only company during his long days of work, I imagine. I bet when he hears the rush of a lone car speed past this sleepy town, he likes to think the town is almost as lonely as him.
As I turn off the ignition, he says a quiet, “hello” and nods his head towards me.
“Grab yourself a Coke” he says as he grabs the pump to fill my car, “it’s a hot day for traveling.”
Heeding his advice and walking away in the full assurance that he won’t take advantage of me or my car, I walk towards the hypnotic hum of a refrigerator keeping the ambrosia of Coca-Cola cold in their glass bottles. The smell of gasoline taints the air, but only because this is a gas station. I think that if I would walk farther into this town, it would smell like the flowers and trees growing in the distance, untainted by pollution that overcrowded cities seem to be synonymous with.
After depositing a shiny Alabama state quarter into a tin box next to the refrigerator, I walk back to my car, listening to the sound of my heels clicking against the sand and gravel and dings of the gas meter signaling the flow of gasoline. Mixtures of sounds like the old swinging sign overhead and cicadas in the tall grass aid in the symphony of sounds.

My hand grabs the hot metal handle to open up the driver’s door, where I carefully place my half-consumed coke on the floorboard. I finally notice how my gas tank is full and the man who filled it standing as stiff as a soldier, back to the line of gas pumps instead of soldiers. Turning on the ignition, I pull away from the country gas station and onto the highway once again.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Builders

Putting up the frame of a house
We work all day long without stop

No other house in sight
We are truly all on our own

We line up the sides of the house
Almost like putting together a puzzle

The only thing to keep us company is the fire
we made so long ago

The house from the front looks real
But anywhere else, we can tell it’s for show

End of the Day

Walking up the hill covered in snow my footprints discolor the pure, white snow and leave it
dirty, something of a disgrace I’m sure to nature.
Walking up the hill, I look around me as I see others leaving the factory, wages in their pockets or tin boxes of only 5 cents.
End of the Day
Walking up the hill, I think of all the ugly houses lining the road, celebrating our victory march of poverty and despair and ruin.
Walking up the hill, I see other haggard faces with coal and dust etched into their wrinkles greet their families and silently tell their wives that there’s no more money for food.
Walking up the hill, my shadow is slowly illuminated by the shy sun that is trying to peak out from behind the salt and pepper colored clouds
Walking up the hill, I think of my own family and what I will tell them when I get home,
things like sorrow and pain turned into my own gain.

Stopping at the top of the hill, I pray for freedom and the end of the day.

Art Walk

I was having a horrible, no good, very bad day. Just like Alexander from the book, nothing seemed to be going my way. At first, I woke up with a great attitude and plenty of smiles. However, things went south quickly when my sister, who I share a room with, was not having a great attitude. Every little action turned into a debate and everything it seemed was wrong because of me and not the other way around. On the way to school, I slammed the car door to get in, resulting in my coffee staining my brand new white shirt.
Needless to say, my day only got worse.

Tests upon tests were thrown at me, grade checks were a disappointment, and practice for cross country was a disaster! I felt like I had fought a hundred battles only to lose all of them that day. As I walked up the stairs to the front door, I felt worn out-emotionally and physically. I went upstairs to my room after grabbing some goldfish and had a solid cry. Mascara was running down my cheeks, but I felt better. Grabbing some tissues from the bathroom, my brother saw the mess I was in. He offered to talk it out with me, and we ended up laughing and joking, a polar opposite feeling than 30 minutes before. He helped me so much, he was definitely a blessing in disguise.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Charles Burchfield

November Storm
Charles Ephraim Burchfield was born on April 9, 1873 in Ashtabula Harbor, Ohio. He was born as the first child to William Burchfield and Alice Murphy. Sadly, Burchfield’s father passed away when he was only four years old. Because of this tragedy, he was appointed the main bread winner and worked at a young age for W.H. Mullins being a core molder. He was also one of six siblings born to Alice and William. Alice never remarried after her husband’s death.
                Burchfield graduated as class valedictorian and went to the Cleveland Institute of Art to pursue his gift of painting. During this time, his mother had a skylight installed in his room so that he could paint with better light! Upon returning home, Charles married his sweetheart, Bertha Kenreich. The couple had four children together.
   Charles Burchfield had many painters that he used to inspire him, such as van Gogh. His best friend, Edward Hopper, helped Burchfield land many of his paintings in galleries across the United States. Burchfield finally quit his job at a prominent wallpaper company and committed full time to be a painter. However, the Great Depression soon hit, and Burchfield was worried about his family’s welfare. He didn’t have to worry- his paintings were in high demand and he never lacked any funds during this time.
Black Iron
                His work is inspired by many experiences he had that can be divided into three major categories. His first category has his works depicting scenes he saw during his enlistment in World War I. His second depicts American life and industry. His last group focuses back on his experiences as a boy and more of abstract art. Burchfield used watercolor and employed the dry brush technique, which is using as little water as possible to get different textures and colors. His painting style was described by LIFE magazine as “Edward Hopper on a rainy day.”

                Charles Burchfield died on January 10th, 1967 in his adult hometown of Gardenville, NY, a suburb of East Salem.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

6 Word Memoirs

Do you ever wonder what if?
Cats can be the best medicine.
Traveling to cure being a homebody.

What happened to all the memories?
Living with you is a blessing.
You showed me so many possibilities.
Is the past even worth it?

Don’t ever eat the last cookie.